45% of Shoppers Buy Items Online They Wouldn’t In Person [INFOGRAPHIC].

 

How do you shop differently when you are shopping online rather than at a physical shop? Please share in the comments below.

Today’s post is a guest post from Kristy Liner. She has got some very pertinent advice for you, if you are tempted by the ease of online shopping. Thanks Kristy.

Stop Clicking, and Read! Avoiding Online Impulse Buying
Most of us love shopping, and online shopping is even better. You can shop in your pyjamas, with curlers in your hair, while you watch TV, and cook dinner. However, the online shopping generation has made it a bit too easy to spend our hard earned cash online. Now, impulse buyers don’t even have to leave their homes to spend money that they should probably hang on to. I’m sure we’re all very responsible shoppers who know nothing about impulse buying, right? Yea, well, consider the following steps to help stop online impulse buying, just in case you have a “friend” who could use the help.

Set a Time Rule
Whether you give yourself one hour or 30 days, set a standard for yourself. When you find something you want, wait for your decided amount of time before buying it. Put it in your “wish list” rather than your cart. If after that one week or 12 days, you still want or need it, then you can buy it. Often times, you will forget about it, and if you do, you didn’t need to buy it in the first place.

Don’t Make it Easy
Don’t store your credit card information on online sites. Before you can make a purchase, make sure you’ll have to dig out your credit card and enter the information. Sometimes this can deter you from going through the trouble to make the purchase. If that’s all it takes to change your mind, you definitely don’t need the item.

Research
Set another rule for yourself. Take the dollar amount of an item and spend that many minutes researching the item and pricing of the item. If you want to buy a $150 pair of shoes, you must first spend two and a half hours researching the shoes and where to get the best deal. If the time spent researching isn’t worth it, neither is the purchase. If it is worth it, chances are by the time you’re finished researching, you will have found the item at a rock-bottom price.

Don’t Drink and Shop
There’s no better way to set yourself up for buyer’s remorse than by shopping while intoxicated. Consider some of the other decisions you won’t let yourself make when you’ve been drinking and ask yourself if spending money is any less important. If you absolutely must surf the web after a few drinks, save your wants to a wish list to reconsider at a later, more sober time.

Don’t Tempt Yourself
Unsubscribe to daily deal mailing lists. A sale in your inbox is hard to ignore sometimes. However, if you aren’t subscribed to their mailing list, you’ll be none the wiser. Retailers set these email messages up to lure you to their site. They make you desire a product you never knew you needed and then make you feel like this is the only time you will ever buy it at this discounted, low price. If today is the only day you can get 30 percent off of something, that doesn’t mean you need it. Save yourself some money and unsubscribe now.

While online shopping is a definite no-hassle way to purchase the things we need at low prices, taking advantage of the accessibility is a bad idea. Not only will you spend money you wouldn’t normally spend, but you’ll buy things you don’t even need. Take these steps to deter yourself from falling into the trap and save money today.

Kristy Liner enjoys writing about tips for saving money at http://creditscore.net.
Image credit: auremar / 123RF Stock Photo

For my money, debit card all the way!

Why….I hear you ask?

When using a debit card the money comes straight from your cheque account, therefore if you don’t have the money, you can’t buy it! It makes all of your spending  conscious and eliminates the money fog! Even if it doesn’t eliminate it completely, it certainly doesn’t allow it to hang around! If you hadn’t planned the purchase, the next time you update your bank account and tracking ( you do track your income and outgoings, don’t you??) you will have to record, and adjust your budget or plan for the purchase.

On the other hand, if you use a credit card, the pain of the payment is delayed and the spending is more often than not, unconscious.  You don’t feel as though you are using “real money”, it doesn’t cause any immediate reflection or reaction and allows the money fog to close in, big time!! Most credit card companies allow you up to 55 days before you make a payment, so until that day comes around, or at least until the bill comes in, you can forget all about your purchase, and probably will.

A debit card  still allows you to shop online, or over the phone; excuses people use for needing a credit card.

When I discuss the issue of debit card versus credit card with clients, most  say “But I get airpoints, when I use my credit card”. That is great if you are paying off your credit card, in full, every time you use it. If you aren’t, then the interest you are paying would more than buy you the airpoints, or flights or whatever!

If you pay off your credit card every time and in full, this probably doesn’t need to apply to you.

However, if you don’t, then I strongly advise using a debit card.

In my post on Monday, I made the statement:- “Compulsive shopping is virtually synonymous with overspending or overshopping; so I use the terms interchangeably here.”

Yesterday, I was talking with another Financial RecoverySM counsellor, Danielle Ray, (www.integrativefinancialcounseling.com) and she challenged this statement. Danielle said that people could overspend, unconsciously; but without the compulsion and need to shop, that characterises compulsive shoppers. She’s right and so I retract that statement!

I think that part of my “confusion” was that, as an overspender myself, whilst most of it was unconscious,( not being aware of how much money I had, nor how much I had spent) occasionally there were elements of compulsion as well. When I decided that I needed (or was that wanted? – watch for a future blog on this!)something, I could be compulsive in my pursuit of it. I would drive all over town if needbe, that very day, to purchase it. The “having to have it, and have it now” syndrome!

This has, of course, now been made so much easier for us all and, dare I say, more dangerous, with the advent of online shopping. We no longer need to put any pause between the thought and action, in this case shopping, before the transaction is complete. For this reason, I also advise my clients to use a debit card and not a credit card at all times. (I do this myself although have a CC which I use for business, but very seldom.) This means that they can still send flowers on Mother’s Day and still order tickets on the internet for concerts and movies, but all the money comes immediately out of their current account. Therefore, the shopping has to be all that more conscious, or if it isn’t, the consequences are much more immediate!

So, thank you Danielle, for making me think more clearly about this.